Price your home to sell
Price your home to sell is the first of the “3-Ps” to selling your Seattle area home quickly and at the highest possible price. The second P is Preparation, and the third P is Presentation. My 3-P system is a proven method of listing and selling your home in any market. Even in a sellers’ market, the 3-P system produces superior results: a quick sale at the highest possible price, and the best terms.
Pricing – the first P
“What’s my home worth?” This is the first question a home seller asks. A Comparable Market Analysis provides the basis for establishing a price range. However, the final answer to the actual list price depends on the successful execution of the other two Ps, Preparation and Presentation. Equally important is a list price that attracts buyers who are searching at the lower end of a price range AND those looking at the higher end of a price range. Pricing is time sensitive. Local competition may force a last minute change of the listing price. On the day of the listing, the answer as to what the listing price should be will be self-evident.
To price your home to sell, we will consider six factors.
- Economy (interest rates, employment, consumer confidence)
- Competition and Market (neighborhood, local supply & demand)
- Location (distances, commute, schools)
- Character and Function (size, appearance, style)
- Public records (automatic valuations)
- Motivation (reasons to sell, timing)
Mortgage interest rates continue to be attractive at historic lows. How rates are kept this low and if that’s sustainable is the subject of much debate. While Seattle is not immune to the tampering and tapering by the Fed, the Seattle economy looks pretty good by almost any measure. That’s why people move here. The draw of Seattle and low rates are good news for you, the home seller.
Competition and Market
Even when the local economy flourishes, consumer confidence can be shaped by a steady diet of negative global news. Thus, changing your status quo by selling your home can appear to be too risky. But if you have good reasons to sell this is good news in a market with a low inventory of active listings.
Homes near centers of employment are scarce. This is true for condos near Amazon in Seattle and homes near Microsoft in Redmond. Urban real estate with first world necessities from yogurt to yoga within walking distance is in short supply. Many young people are willing to do without their own car and put all their savings in a first home. They will check the bus routes first. Homeowners with children coming of school age are looking to move into the best school district. If your current home or condo fits any of these descriptions, you are in the driver’s seat.
Character and Function
The buyer most likely to buy your home is somebody just like you. If your home was perfect for raising three children, it will be the same for a buyer with similar needs. If you like your condo because it allows dogs and has secure underground parking, so will the prospective buyer. If you pay a premium for a glorious view, the next buyer will be looking for the same and won’t mind. Understanding how many buyers are looking for a home exactly like yours influences pricing.
Buyers will check out whatever online information is available about your home. They may look for county records where the information about your home. That information may be outdated. Buyers will also find automated estimates of your home’s value on real estate portals that collect data from various sources. You may disagree with the estimate of your home’s value. In any case, this information has an impact on what potential buyers think your home is worth. We shall look at what we can do to correct erroneous data and estimates when we cover Preparation, the second of the three Ps.
Motivation to Sell
When you price your home to sell, one of the questions you need to answer is “why do I want to sell?” Are you ready to move to sunnier climes to retire? Do you need more space for a growing family or downsize because the kids have flown the nest? Are you tired of being an absentee landlord? Has there been a familial status change or hardship and you have no other choice but to sell? Do your circumstances dictate a quick sale? Your motivation to sell will influence the pricing.
Published originally as the 37th issue of The View from the Street.